How Do Doctors Treat Hemorrhoids
Doctors treat hemorrhoids with procedures during an office visit or in an outpatient center or a hospital.
Office treatments include the following:
- Rubber band ligation. Rubber band ligation is a procedure that doctors use to treat bleeding or prolapsing internal hemorrhoids. A doctor places a special rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. The band cuts off the blood supply. The banded part of the hemorrhoid shrivels and falls off, most often within a week. Scar tissue forms in the remaining part of the hemorrhoid, often shrinking the hemorrhoid. Only a doctor should perform this procedureyou should never try this treatment yourself.
- Sclerotherapy. A doctor injects a solution into an internal hemorrhoid, which causes scar tissue to form. The scar tissue cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Infrared photocoagulation. A doctor uses a tool that directs infrared light at an internal hemorrhoid. Heat created by the infrared light causes scar tissue to form, which cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Electrocoagulation. A doctor uses a tool that sends an electric current into an internal hemorrhoid. The electric current causes scar tissue to form, which cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
Outpatient center or hospital treatments include the following:
Sometimes complications of hemorrhoids also require treatment.
Natural Remedies For Hemorrhoids
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Hemorrhoids are painful, unpleasant, and, um, well, difficult to talk about. But they actually are quite common: about half of people over age 50 have had them. However, theyre easy to treat and manage.
Hemorrhoids can be troublesome and embarrassing, but they often shrink on their own with simple self-help care and over-the-counter remedies, says Dr. Howard LeWine, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Hemorrhoids
You should see your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or interfere with your daily life or sleep. Also seek help if signs dont improve after a week of at-home treatments. Your provider may treat hemorrhoids with:
- Rubber band ligation: A small rubber band placed around the base of a hemorrhoid cuts off blood supply to the vein.
- Electrocoagulation: An electric current stops blood flow to a hemorrhoid.
- Infrared coagulation: A small probe inserted into the rectum transmits heat to get rid of the hemorrhoid.
- Sclerotherapy: A chemical injected into the swollen vein destroys hemorrhoid tissue.
Surgical treatments include:
- Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgery removes large external hemorrhoids or prolapsed internal ones.
- Hemorrhoid stapling: A stapling instrument removes an internal hemorrhoid. Or it pulls a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid back inside the anus and holds it there.
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Hemorrhoids Treatment: Rubber Band Ligation
The principle of rubber band ligation is to encircle the base of the hemorrhoidal clump with a tight rubber band. The tissue cut off by the rubber band dies, and is replaced by an ulcer that heals with scarring.
A similar procedure was described in 460 BC by the Greek physician Hippocrates:
And hemorrhoids you may treat by transfixing them with a needle and tying them with very thick and woolen thread, for application, and do not foment until they drop off, and always leave one behind and when the patient recovers, let him be put on a course of Hellebore.
Rubber band ligation can be used with first-, second-, and third-degree hemorrhoids, and may be more effective than sclerotherapy. Symptoms frequently recur several years later, but usually can be treated with further ligation.
The most common complication of ligation is pain. However, bleeding one or two weeks after ligation or bacterial infection in the tissues surrounding the hemorrhoids may occur.
Prevention Tips & How To Find Relief
There are many different treatment options for patients looking for at-home solutions. Smaller hemorrhoids can be successfully treated at home through a combination of dietary changes and OTC medicines.
- Get more fiber in your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help ease digestion. If you have trouble changing your diet, talk to your doctor and ask if a fiber supplement may work for you. Drinking more water can also help.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers and hemorrhoid creams. Oral pain relievers containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort. Topical creams can also relieve pain and itching.
- Soak in a sitz bath. A sitz bath involves sitting in a warm, shallow bath for 10 to 15 minutes to promote blood flow and keep the perianal area clean. Some manufacturers make sitz bath apparatuses that can be attached directly to a toilet seat, but you can also use a regular bathtub.
- Sit on a donut cushion. Donut-shaped cushions can help reduce the pressure on your tailbone when sitting. Cushions like these can help alleviate anal pain and discomfort, especially for patients who spend most of their day sitting at work.
- Limit your time on the toilet. Sitting on the toilet for too long can increase pressure in the veins in your anus and rectum, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Dont stay on the toilet for longer than you need toit may help to keep your phone out of the bathroom and remove any magazines or books that you keep nearby.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Internal Or Prolapsed Hemorrhoid
Most often, internal hemorrhoids have no symptoms but are only found if there is bleeding with a bowel movement or if the hemorrhoid prolapses so that it can be felt outside of the anus. This may lead to itching and pain as well as the bleeding.
Prolapse of an internal hemorrhoid occurs when the internal hemorrhoids swell and extend from their location in the rectum through the anus. A prolapsed internal hemorrhoid:
- Can be felt as a lump outside the anus
- Can be gently pushed back through the anus, this may resolve the location of the hemorrhoid, but does not fix the hemorrhoid itself
- May enlarge and swell even more if it cannot be pushed back
- May become entrapped, which requires more urgent medical attention
Hemorrhoids may also cause anal itching , and a constant feeling of needing to have a bowel movement .
Internal hemorrhoid severity can be graded:
- Grade I: Prominent blood vessels with no prolapse
- Grade II: Prolapse with bearing down but with spontaneous reduction
- Grade III: Prolapse with bearing down but requiring manual reduction
- Grade IV: Prolapse with inability to manual reduction
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
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Preventing And Treating Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoid symptoms often settle down after a few days, without needing treatment. Haemorrhoids that occur during pregnancy often get better after giving birth.
However, making lifestyle changes to reduce the strain on the blood vessels in and around your anus is often recommended. These can include:
- gradually increasing the amount of fibre in your diet good sources of fibre include fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta and bread, pulses and beans, seeds, nuts and oats
- drinking plenty of fluid particularly water, but avoiding or cutting down on caffeine and alcohol
- not delaying going to the toilet ignoring the urge to empty your bowels can make your stools harder and drier, which can lead to straining when you do go to the toilet
- avoiding medication that causes constipation such as painkillers that contain codeine
- exercising regularly can help prevent constipation, reduce your blood pressure and help you lose weight
These measures can also reduce the risk of haemorrhoids returning, or even developing in the first place.
Medication that you apply directly to your back passage or tablets bought from a pharmacy or prescribed by your GP may ease your symptoms and make it easier for you to pass stools.
Surgery carried out under general anaesthetic is sometimes used to remove or shrink large or external haemorrhoids.
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When Do I Need To See A Health Care Provider For Hemorrhoids
You should see your health care provider if you:
- Still have symptoms after 1 week of at-home treatment
- Have bleeding from your rectum. Hemorrhoids are a common cause of bleeding, but other conditions can also cause bleeding. They include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, and anal cancer. So it’s important to see your provider to find the cause of the bleeding.
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Will Rectal Bleeding Go Away On Its Own
Depending on the cause of the bleeding, your rectal bleeding can actually stop on its own. However, you need to pay attention to your body and keep track of the bleeding. If it happens one time and then stops, take note of it, but it most likely isnt an emergency. If you have heavy rectal bleeding or are regularly seeing blood, reach out to your healthcare provider to get immediate care. Its always a good idea to let your healthcare provider know about any rectal bleeding you have experienced.
How To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids Fast
Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless, while the external kind can be quite painful. Either way, there is often bleeding and you shouldnt have to suffer through that. That is why it is important to learn how to shrink hemorrhoids fast at home.
There are natural tips for how to get rid of piles without seeing a doctor. The following details how to get rid of hemorrhoids naturally with home remedies.
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How Are Bleeding Hemorrhoids Treated At Home
A bleeding hemorrhoid is usually a sign of irritation or damage to the wall of the hemorrhoid. This should resolve on its own over time, but there are several things you can do at home to speed up the process and soothe any discomfort.
However, if theres no clear source of bleeding or if the bleeding doesnt go away within a week, see your doctor.
Experts note that hemorrhoids are often self-diagnosed, which can be dangerous. Many medical conditions, including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease , can have similar symptoms. For this reason, its important to receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor.
If you have been diagnosed with a hemorrhoid thats itchy or painful, start by gently cleaning the area and reducing inflammation. These strategies can help:
Next, try to soften your stools to keep your digestive system in good working order and reduce your risk of further irritation or damage to a bleeding hemorrhoid. Here are some tips:
If youre still noticing blood or a lot of discomfort after a week of home treatments, you may need to revisit your doctor for additional treatment.
If home treatments arent providing any relief, there are several surgical treatments that can help. Many of them can be done in the office and dont require general anesthesia.
If your bleeding hemorrhoids are larger or more severe, your doctor may recommend more advanced treatment, such as more extensive surgery.
Getting Restful Sleep Without Triggering Hemorrhoid Pain
Depending on your preferred sleeping position, your hemorrhoid pain can make it difficult for you to get a good nights rest. In addition to clean cotton underwear and loose-fitting pajamas, we recommend you sleep on your stomach to reduce anal pain and place a pillow under your hips to prevent yourself from rolling over onto your back.
A full-body sitz bath right before bed may also ease discomfort, help you feel more relaxed, and make it easier for you to fall asleep. In addition, reading or listening to soothing music may take your mind off your hemorrhoids and your discomfort, which may help you get to sleep faster.
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What Are Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids , or ‘piles’, are lumps that occur inside and around the anus . They are very common.
Haemorrhoids are sometimes described as varicose veins of the anus. They happen when there is a weakness in the side of the anal canal that leads to thickening of the lining and then veins can enlarge to become a haemorrhoid, causing symptoms such as bleeding, pain and discomfort.
Haemorrhoids may be just inside or outside the anus. Large internal haemorrhoids may protrude outside the anus .
Ease Pain And Itching
Take warm baths. Soak in a bathtub filled with a few inches of warm water for about 15 minutes at a time. Do it two or three times a day and after every bowel movement. If you want to wash the area, too, use unscented soap and don’t scrub.
Pat gently afterward to dry. You can even use a blow dryer on a cool setting if that feels better.
There are also special “sitz baths” you can put directly on your toilet seat to make soaking easier.
Ice it. Put a small cold pack on the trouble spot several times a day. It can dull pain and bring down the swelling for a little while.
Consider painkillers. An over-the-counter medicine, like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen, could help with soreness.
Don’t scratch. You could damage the skin and make the irritation — and the itching — worse.
Choose cotton. Wear loose, soft underwear. It keeps the area aired out and stops moisture from building up, which can bother your hemorrhoids.
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Ask A Pharmacist About Treatment For Piles
Talk to a pharmacist to get advice on:
- creams to ease the pain, itching and swelling
- treatment to help constipation and soften poo
- cold packs to ease discomfort
You can ask the pharmacist to talk to you in a private area if you do not want to be overheard.
It can feel embarrassing to talk to your pharmacist or GP about your piles. But piles are very common. Your GP is used to diagnosing and treating piles.
About Dr David Heiman
Dr. David R. Heiman is Endoscopy Medical Director and a gastroenterologist at Florida Medical Clinics North Tampa location. He specializes in treating patients with conditions like hemorrhoids, IBS, GERD, and hepatitis, as well as performing endoscopies and colon cancer screenings. Dr. Heiman is dedicated to helping patients find treatment plans that work best for them and that address all of their medical concerns.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration is a potential problem associated with constipation, since fluids or water is needed for fiber to travel smoothly through the digestive system. When you dont get enough water, bowel movements become hard and difficult to pass, and this will enlarge hemorrhoids and increase pelvic pressure.
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2003 indicated that fluid loss and fluid restriction can increase constipation, which worsens hemorrhoid symptoms. When considering how to make hemorrhoids go away fast, it is recommended to drink at least one glass of water during each meal or snack daily.
Medical Treatment For Your Hemorrhoids
Dr. Rivas develops personalized hemorrhoid treatment plans after completing a thorough examination. The treatments we recommend may depend on the type of hemorrhoids, as well as your symptoms. Initially, we may suggest lifestyle changes to ease your pain, such as increasing your intake of fiber and water to improve bowel movements and sitz baths to alleviate pain and discomfort.
However, when at-home treatments fail, Dr. Rivas may suggest a procedure to destroy or remove your hemorrhoids, such as:
- Rubber band ligation
- Infrared, laser, or bipolar coagulation
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You Can Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids Fast And Naturally
As detailed throughout this article, it is important to know how to get rid of hemorrhoids fast.
Some of the best natural methods include an Epsom salt sitz bath, cold compress, aloe vera, witch hazel, coconut oil, horse chestnut, butchers broom, psyllium husk, and essential oils like cypress and helichrysum. It is also helpful to drink plenty of water and eat a high-fiber diet and fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi.
Also, be sure to remember to practice a better toilet routine, including avoiding straining, prolonged sitting on the toilet, and constipation, while also cleaning yourself thoroughly. After all, bowel movements should be smooth and without strain.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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How Can I Treat My Hemorrhoids
You can most often treat your hemorrhoids at home by
- taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement such as psyllium or methylcellulose
- drinking water or other nonalcoholic liquids each day as recommended by your health care professional
- not straining during bowel movements
- not sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin
- sitting in a tub of warm water, called a sitz bath, several times a day to help relieve pain
Applying over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or ointments or using suppositoriesa medicine you insert into your rectummay relieve mild pain, swelling, and itching of external hemorrhoids. Most often, doctors recommend using over-the-counter products for 1 week. You should follow up with your doctor if the products
- do not relieve your symptoms after 1 week
- cause side effects such dry skin around your anus or a rash
Most prolapsed internal hemorrhoids go away without at-home treatment. However, severely prolapsed or bleeding internal hemorrhoids may need medical treatment.